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IKEA Reveals Querkraft Architekten-Designed Car-Free Store In Vienna

Querkraft Architekten

Currently under construction in the heart of Vienna, Austria, the car-free IKEA store is designed by local studio Querkraft Architekten to address “radically changed customer and mobility behaviors”. IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof shall become the meeting place in the city center of the Austrian capital – based on public transport only. The outstanding architectural concept provides completely new ways of presentation, but also huge visibility in a dense city center area. On two floors IKEA will host an external hospitality partner, setting new standards also here. Bringing “green” on all four facades and the roof terrace into the overheated city center will make IKEA Westbahnhof a milestone also in this respect.

The site is 3 kilometers from the historical city center, at the end of Mariahilferstrasse, a main shopping street. The site is connected to the Westbahnhof train station & BahnhofCity Wien West shopping center. Consumer behaviour has been changing tremendously over the past years, and so has mobility behavior. E-Commerce is booming, new online competition is strong also on the furniture market. More and more customers do not even think about carrying home their furniture themselves, they have things delivered home.

Online ordering possibilities promote this behavior. When it comes to mobility:  Around 2/3 of Viennese people living in the inner-city districts of Vienna do not even have a car anymore. They come by public transport, walk, ride bicycles or take a scooter. IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof serves all these changed behaviors: Both mobility (it can be reached within 20 minutes from every end of the 2 metro lines underneath the building; a car is neither needed nor wanted at this location) and consumer behavior.

 IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof / Querkraft Architekten

Until now IKEA has two physical touchpoints in Vienna, both in the outskirts of the Austrian capital, not easily reached by public transportation. The development of a completely new type of IKEA city center store, as is the IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof store with its excellent connection to public transportation (both train and tram and underground, being accessible from all ends of the metro lines within 20 minutes), adds to this market approach in an outstanding, sustainable (car-free) and climate-friendly way. It is so far unique in the IKEA world.

IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof is going to be the most unique and green IKEA store. It will be inviting, human scale and standing out as a landmark. Landscaping solutions on the facades and rooftop garden play an important role in being a good neighbor and supporting the IKEA sustainability ambitions, making them emotionally and rationally obvious for customers. They can even feel it, as calculations say that the approx. 160 trees on the building will lower temperature at the building by at least -2 degrees, which will make the surrounding area look significantly greener and more enjoyable.

The building stands out and attracts attention as an evident icon, the trade dress clearly differentiates the IKEA store from other retailers. The store is open and transparent to make it feel even more welcoming and friendly in a city center context and offers the possibility to show the IKEA range for close and long-distance. IKEA will be highly visible all the way from Mariahilferstraße.

 IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof / Querkraft Architekten

The building will be hosting an IKEA store on the first four levels, four shops along Mariahilferstraße to create an active shopping street, a hostel on the upper 2 floors and a publicly accessible roof garden with hospitality and fun things to do.

The conceptual idea of the architecture is based on a grid symbolizing a bookshelf, the green, flexibility, light and simplicity. The transparent, welcoming building embraces daylight, works in harmony with the surroundings and adds an “outside-in”-approach. The facade grid allows a change of open and closed façade elements and takes care that trees can grow on every level. On every façade there will be vertical walls as well as open and light window spaces and light-flooded sections/areas.

IKEA Austria strives for a BREEAM Excellent certification for the building, which includes the choice of materials and clearly expresses the far-reaching IKEA ambition to play an active role in creating a more sustainable way of living and doing business.

The new store aims to be an iconic meeting place in Vienna. An iconic retail destination for home furnishing. A place that people love to visit and experience. A place to socialize and share. A place to get expert advice and improve life at home with IKEA product offer.

 IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof / Querkraft Architekten

The building will be a place to meet, to eat, to shop and to hang out with possibilities to host workshops and events. IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof together with an innovative, exciting hospitality concept and rooftop shall become a true experience. It inspires a sense of curiosity that makes people want to explore. Everyone shall feel welcomed and recognized as it will be convenient. And our meeting place sends positive, optimistic messages, brings fun and laughter.

The IKEA store has three combined entrances/exits. It supports the city center customers’ different ways of shopping, including short or long, planned or spontaneous visits. The food offer will contribute to make the IKEA store an inviting meeting place. Food is a powerful way to build emotional connections, touch people’s hearts, delight them and create happiness.

IKEA Austria wants to exceed urban consumers’ expectations for home furnishing experiences, convenience and vitality in a multichannel environment. The project has several development areas, including being a good neighbor and sustainability, food offer and store configuration.

 IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof / Querkraft Architekten

When it comes to shopping, customers can touch and feel all products, test them, order them. And they can buy everything they can easily take home by public transport or bike or walking. Everything else will be delivered within the same day from the new logistic center in Vienna directly into the homes. A central void connecting all levels all the way up to the hostel and roof top will support the visitors for quick up/down access of all floor levels.

The food offer will contribute to make the IKEA store an inviting meeting place. The four IKEA food touchpoints secure easy and convenient access from outside, shall touch people’s hearts and delight them. An inspiring food offer invites to meet and enjoy with friends, take a break from shopping or grab a quick lunch.